Democrats Flip Two New Mexico House Seats

Posted November 4, 2008 at 11:59pm

Democrats have won the two Republican-held open House seats in New Mexico.

In the historically competitive 1st district, former Albuquerque City Councilor Martin Heinrich (D) has been declared the winner over Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White (R).

With 67 percent of precincts reporting, Heinrich had 57 percent to White’s 43 percent, according to the Associated Press, which called the race in Heinrich’s favor. He is slated to replace Rep. Heather Wilson (R), who lost a bid for the Republican Senate nomination earlier in the year.

In fight for the seat of retiring Rep. Steve Pearce (R), former Lea County Commissioner Harry Teague (D) appears to have defeated wealthy restaurateur Ed Tinsley (R) in the battleground 2nd district.

With 83 percent reporting, Teague was leading by 10 points and the Associated Press called the race for the Democrat, flipping a conservative seat into the Democratic column in the Land of Enchantment.

Teague positioned himself as a conservative Democrat in his race against Tinsley. His campaign was boosted by his own personal fortune, earned during his days in the oil services industry and the fact that he hailed from Lea County, which has traditionally been the key to winning the district.